A Different Way to Critique

As a graduate of the UW Certificate in Fiber Arts, and a SDA member I am no stranger to critique groups or the various methods used.  Some have been very useful and some  – well not so much.  I am betting that many other SDA members have had the same experience which is why I wanted to tell you about The Field-Seattle, an organization that specializes in bringing artists together to learn the fine art of giving feedback and to help them deepen their own work. 

The way the The Field-Seattle works is different from most of the critique methodologies that I have previous experienced. When you present, you show your work but do not talk about it.  So you are not putting it into context.  I think this is a good thing.  By not saying what you are trying to accomplish or what your inspiration was you are not creating a metric by which the work will be judged.  This approach allows for more independent thought.

The responses you receive in the field work are very pointedly not about whether someone likes it or how successful you are at achieving your goal.  Nor are there suggestions about how to technically improve the piece but rather the feedback is about what they see and how they respond to what they see.  This is very useful information.

The question for the artist becomes, is this what I meant to evoke.  Are they seeing things that I didn’t intentionally mean to incorporate into the piece?  Does the feedback suggest avenues that I haven’t considered. The artist then has the option to decide whether he or she wants to respond to that feedback.  It gives the artist autonomy.

Icing on the cake is the fact that you are bringing artists together from very different mediums; so you don’t have a fabric centric ideology.  It can be invigorating.  And you learn to see more clearly by responding to other’s work.

If this intrigues you, I encourage you to go to the site and read more about The Field-Seattle. There is a good blog article on getting started with reflective feedback.  The last session this fall  is starting on November 7th for five weeks with conceptual artist,  Mimi Allin. It’s going to be good.  Mary Hubbard

Full disclosure – I volunteer for The Field- Seattle as I do for SDA.

Gail Harker Creative Studies Center adds online art course to reach students worldwide

Internationally known textile and fiber artist, author and educator Gail Harker will launch the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center’s first online course Nov. 29, Level 1 Color Studies.

Unlike other art courses taught online, Level 1 Color Studies is a hands-on course that teaches students about color theory and gives them guidance, practical experience, and resources on how to use color in their work – no matter what media an artist uses.

“Many people are intimidated by color,” said Gail Harker, founder of the 17-year-old Creative Studies Center. “They think everything is black or white, right or wrong. But there is no right or wrong. We help students understand color and teach them how to make sense of it, giving them a hands-on foundation they can use throughout their work.”

The Level 1 Color Studies Online course will be delivered through video instruction, Power Point demonstrations, and office hours during which students may speak with the tutor directly. Students will also have e-mail access for questions and comments, participate in group conference calls, and receive 400 pages of online content.

Level 1 Color Studies Online course is comprised of three units. Students will move through the coursework on their own schedule, but will complete each unit within a six-week period. In this course Harker guides students to see color in new ways, work with color directly through the use of papers and paints and lays the foundation for future work with color.

For the past 17 years, students had to travel to Oak Harbor, and more recently La Conner, to learn from Harker, who studied art in Canada, England and Scotland. She earned her diploma from the London City & Guilds Institute completing the Design and Embroidery course with Distinction. Harker was granted the Senior Award of Licentiateship (LCGI) by the London City & Guilds Institute in London, Great Britain.

Harker plans to offer other courses online in the future. In addition to color studies, the Center helps students artfully implement color into surface design and textiles. Since its beginnings in 1994, more than 1,500 students have taken courses in textile art, multimedia art & design, color studies, dyeing of fabrics and threads, machine stitching (machine embroidery), hand stitching (hand embroidery), painting fabrics, papermaking, sketchbook studies and collage.

Contact: Gail Harker, phone: (360) 279-2105 / email: gail@gailcreativestudies.com

About Gail Harker Creative Studies Center

Internationally known textile and fiber artist, author and educator Gail Harker has the equivalent of a Masters in textile and fiber art as well as contemporary embroidery, also known as stitch. More than 1,500 artists have studied at the Creative Studies Center, which offers professional certificate and diploma programs in design and stitch. Several students have gone on to win national and international recognition. Learn more at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Center website.

Ginny Huber to be featured artist at Manya Vee Selects in Edmonds

October 20, 2011 Ginny Huber will be the featured artist with her one of a kind nuno felted scarves at Manya Vee Selects, a Gallery in Edmonds, WA.

The event is from 5 pm-8pm in conjunction with the Edmonds Third Thursday Art Walk.

She will also be doing a demo/showing the materials used in the process and Manya will continue to carry her work at the Gallery after the 20th.

Manya Vee Selects
409 Main St
Edmonds WA 98020

To more examples of Ginny’s work please go to her website.

Cameron Anne Mason to teach workshop October 15 & 16


Creating Artcloth Using Resists

Saturday & Sunday, October 15 & 16 (2 sessions), 10am – 4pm

Working with fiber reactive dyes, we will layer resists to create complexity and depth of color on fabric. Shibori binding, organic pastes, and soy wax will be used, each method creating its own characteristic marks. Students will receive handouts covering dye chemistry and safe studio practices. Techniques are easily grasped yet endlessly variable. This workshop emphasizes process and experimentation, learning to control technique while celebrating the happy accident. 

Cameron Anne Mason creates artwork that delves deeply into surface design technique, and brings that depth to her sculptural work. Inspired by nature and the touch of human hands upon it, Cameron’s art is a response to the world around through surface, form, and stitch. Cameron gets great satisfaction from sharing her knowledge with students young and old. She shares her extensive research, studio technique, and a sense for exploration and experimentation with students. Cameron Anne Mason is represented by Foster/White Gallery and has shown widely with the Contemporary Quilt Art Association. Cameron was awarded the Audience Choice Award at the Rio Patchwork Design Show in Rio de Janeiro in 2010. Cameron is a member of Northwest Designer Craftsman, Surface Design Association, and the Contemporary Quilt Art Association.

I took this workshop – it was awesome. I learned so much. Plus you get a chance to play with techniques and see what you like and what you don’t like. Great fun.  –TSP

Instructor: Cameron Anne Mason
Class Fee: $185 Click here for supply list.
Prerequisite: None
Level: All
Min/Max: 3/10
Location: artEAST Art Center




Bellevue Arts Museum is launching the call for artists for the second edition of the BAM Biennial. This year’s medium and theme is fiber, hence BAM Biennial 2012: High Fiber Diet. The Biennial is open to artists and makers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and British Columbia.

Quilting Arts Fabric Swap (Surface Designed Fabrics)

Entry due: November 7, 2011

For more information: http://www.quiltingdaily.com/content/Reader_Challenges.aspx

In celebration of all the surface design techniques presented in the August/September 2011 issue of Quilting Arts, we thought it would be fun to host our first-ever fabric swap. We invite you to get creative and pull out your dyes, paints, discharge pastes, stamps, stencils–you name it–and create your own set of four fat quarters to swap with someone else.

The rules

  • Design a set of 4 fat quarters on any kind of fabric (4 pieces, each 18″ x 22″). You may finger paint, ice dye, discharge, stamp, stencil, or use any other surface design technique you like. You are free to make 4 fat quarters that are the same, or 4 different fat quarters using various techniques–it’s up to you! (Though you may want to make enough extra to keep a sample for yourself.)

Note: Your fabric must be free of any text or images that are protected by copyright, unless you have the expressed written permission from the person or institution that holds the copyright and you provide that written permission with your submission.

  • Staple a business card or a 3″ x 5″ card with your preferred contact information and a brief explanation of your surface design technique to the back of each piece of fabric. (This information will travel with the fabric to the recipients.)
  • Take a picture of your fabric, and print out a copy of the photo to include with your submission. On the back of the photo, please include your full name, mailing address, email address, and phone number. This information will be used for any questions we have about your submission and also to mail your fabric swatches to you.
  • For safety, place your fabric in a plastic bag for shipping.
  • Include an entry fee of $6 (U.S. and Canada) and $14 (all other international), to cover postage and handling. All funds must be in U.S. dollars and made payable to Interweave. Exchange participants, including international residents, may charge the entry fee to their credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Please include the necessary information, including the expiration date and CVV code with your entry.
  • Your fabric must be in our offices by Monday, November 7, 2011.
  • We will swap and mail the fabric no later than the week of January 16, 2012.
  • Some of the fabric may be featured in an upcoming issue of Quilting Arts Magazine and/or on our website.
  • Please send your fabric to:

Quilting Arts/INTERWEAVE

ATTN: Quilting Arts Fabric Swap
490 Boston Post Road
Suite 15
Sudbury, MA 01776

Note: By submitting your fabric to our challenge you are authorizing Interweave to publish your fabric in upcoming publications and promotional materials, on our website, and in other Interweave e-media. Interweave will not be held responsible for loss or damage due to circumstances beyond our control.

Outside/Inside the Box – Fiber Philadelphia 2012

Entry due: October 31, 2011

Show: March2 – April 14, 2012


Outside/Inside the Box will showcase innovative fiber/textile art that transcends disciplines; combines tradition with cutting edge technology and/or historic concepts with contemporary perspective. Size, scope, materials and subject matter are open. Submissions may include surface design, woven, 2D and 3D structures, quilts, stitching, body art, etc.

Work derivative of other textile artists or work created in a workshop, with the aid of an instructor, is not acceptable.

In the event of a sale, a 35% commission will go to the gallery.

Application $40 for 3 works